Sennheiser HD 25-1 II Professional Headphone

Average User Rating:
4.31915/5,
  1. krenky
    3.5/5,
    "Great Professional Closed Headphones with amazing isolation"
    Pros - Great detailed sound, amazing passive isolation, small and very practical
    Cons - not comfortable for longer sessions, bass is not going very deep, small soundstage
    I really like Sennheiser HD25, the sound is very detailed and balanced. I love the sound isolation which is I think the best from within all other closed headphones. They are very light and small which is great. The design would be superb if the cups could rotate 90 degrees but they cannot. I especially like that every single part is replaceable which I think is the reason why so many people buy these. 
    You dont want to spend too much and be forced to throw them away or pay for expensive repair after couple of years. 
     
    I would wear them in public but I dont like that the headband is sticking a bit outside from the cups which makes them wider than they are. Small design changes would bring these headphones back to the #1 position. 
     
    So many times these headphones simply crush anything else around them in terms of sound quality. They are precise, detailed and well balanced. The bass is nice and punchy but I would prefer if it could go slightly deeper. But dont worry its still deeper than most of the headphones within this price range. They are very loud which is another reason why other djs and professionals buying these. If you like them then do not hesitate as I dont think you find better on ear headphones. Yes, maybe Beyerdynamics DT1350 but for some reason I dont think they are so cool than these are. 
     
    If the soundstage would be slightly bigger that would be fantastic as comparing to the other headphones they might sound a bit in your face. These are great for work such mixing, editing, mastering etc. Specially if you use them in noisy environment. 
     
    When I search for new headphones I often use the term I look for something like HD25 but around the ear :)  Definitely wear them / check them in terms of the comfort before you purchase. 
  2. jackgu1988
    5.0/5,
    "Amazing headphones, but you already know that"
    Pros - Sound quality, Confort, Isolation
    Cons - none so far
    No introduction is needed for this pair. The "rumours" about the sound quality are true. Some people disagree that they are good for music production, but I am not using them for this reason, so I cannot comment on that. When I am listening to music I prefer it to come to my ears as the musicians and sound engineers intended to, and I think that these headphones are doing it to a great extent.
     
    Some people also find them to be uncomfortable. Well, they are not as comfortable as HD 598 for example, but this is to be expected from a closed-back pair. I would not expect more comfort than what they give. I'd describe my head as medium size, so people with large heads may find them a bit more uncomfortable.
     
    Overall, very, very highly recommended!
  3. Mshenay
    4.0/5,
    "Rugged Warrior! "
    Pros - DURABILITY, Easy to Drive, Lean Mids, BASS
    Cons - Amp/ Source Dependent, Dry Upper Range
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    Sennheiser’s Classic the HD 25-1 II,  is a headphone that’s been around longer than I have been and one that’s proven its worth over two decades now!  Bringing an excellent quality of sound and a rock solid build quality, the HD 25-1 II a true companion for the road Warrior in us all 
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    Specs

    Price                                      $249
    Wearing Style                    On Ear
    Frq Response                    16-22k
    THD                                        .3%
                                              Transducer Principle       Closed Back Dynamic,  43.1mm Drivers
    Impedance                         70 ohms
    Sensitivity                           120dbs
    Final Score                          81/100
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    BoxImghd25.jpg
    Personally, I like the simple packing included with the HD 25-1 II. As in my eyes, a simple packing leaves more funds to the design of the headphone it self! The HD 25-1 II does come with a Plastic Draw String bag in addition to a nice gold palted Screw on 6.5mm adapter 
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    Build Quality [10/10]
    It is built entirely out of very rugged plastic, and assembled with only two visible screws.  The drivers are attached to the headband by a plastic tooth mechanism. The headband itself features a spilt function, allowing the user to further adjust comfort, by widening or narrowing the gap between each rung of the headband. The cord for the headphone rests within a space etched into the head band itself.  The cable is a gold plated 3.5mm right angle at 2m length, and the ear pads are composed of synthetic leather.  The headphone also exerts a lot of clamping force, so it doesn’t move around much when on your head.
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    Another very interesting fact is that this particular headphone has been in production for almost two decades! As such, getting replacement parts from Sennhesier is a very cheap and simple process.  Meaning, if you ever manage to break any piece of the HD 25-1 II it’s a simple and cost effective to repair, that factor alone contributes to the sheer value of the HD 25-1 II.  I personally purchased the HD 25-1 II for use at the gym because of it’s durability and simple cost effective repairs. After having used it many times, I’ve found it to be a wonderfully rugged, well built an easy to use headphone! It’s defiantly a product I can throw into my car, and slap around my neck without having to worry about it breaking. Personally, I love that about it! I should also note that it’s the ONLY headphone I dare take into the jungle of iron machines that is my Gym! 
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    Utility [10/10]
    The HD 25-1 II is built for portable use regardless of where and how you’ll be using it. It’s tough enough to be dropped, bumped and banged around. Additionally its sensitivity allows it to achieve high volumes without a lot of power. The clamping force also helps this headphone to stay in place. I recommend it for anyone who’s wanted a headphone to listen while on the go through most public spaces, anywhere there could be accidents, drops, scuffs or spills.
    The HD 25-1 II is able to be driven by a wide range of sources, and it does however benefit from scaling. While the sound out of my LG V10 was acceptable, it had a much better sound quality driven from my HM901 LineOut to my ibasso PB2.
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    Comfort [5/10]
    While rugged and durable, the HD 25-1 II is rather uncomfortable for listening after an about an hour.  The clamping force of this headphone can quickly fatigue anyone who is not used to On Ear Headphones.  Moreover, the pads tend are sweat magnets, especially if it’s hot whereever you are.  The HD 25-1 II will work flawlessly within reasonable temperatures, I’ve used them outside as low as 15 an as hot as 107. Though, at hotter temperatures it does get sweaty and at colder temperatures it can be a little painful on the ears.
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    Isolation [10/10]
    Despite lack luster comfort, the HD 25-1 II has outstanding isolation! First time I put them on it scared me how… quiet everything was with them on!
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    Ease of Use [7/10]
    The HD 25-1 II is an easy headphone to drive, though the better your source the better it will sound. When paired with entry level devices, such as cell phones or cheap Digital Audio Players, the sound will be sub optimal. It responds very well to amplification and EQ, I found it to be very enjoyable when Eq’d from my LG V10. Though, even with EQ out of the V10, the HD 25-1 II sounded it’s best driven from my Hm901 LineOut PB2.  Out of all my sources, the iPod Nano Gen 3, had the worse quality of sound  with the HD 25-1 II out of all my sources. 
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    Style and Design
    Visually, I love the style of the headphone. The split headband an the top mounted cables really command your attention, while the rounded cups ease your eyes down, till you've reached the end of the saw tooth adjustment rods. From a design perspective, I love the use of soft shapes an sharp lines!​
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    Sound Quality
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    Timbre [8/10]   Sound Stage [7.5/10] Detail   [8/10] Speed [6.5/10] Scale [9/10]
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    Overall, when driven and sourced properly it has a very dry and even sound. The bass is a touch forward but very taut with slightly recessed low mids, with a nice leading edge to the upper mids and treble.  The sound stage is of average width and a little shallow however instruments are well layered within the sound stage and have good spatial cues.   
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    However, if driven from a cheaper phone or digital audio player, the HD 25-1 II can sound sluggish, muddy, incoherent and very SHARP. With a very loose overall sound, in addition when listening to low bit rate music you will notice the artifacts that are inherent to poorly encoded music. When purchased and used right out the box with lower end gear and poorly encoded mp3s it’s nothing impressive, heck I’ll dare to say that right out of my iPod Nano Gen 3 [using 320 CBR mp3s] my Beats Solo 2 sound much cleaner than the HD 25-1 II. 
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     Although the HD 25-1 II responds very well to EQ on low end devices and smart phones, so I recommend tinkering around with a quality Parametric EQ and DSP filters to get the best sound from these if your initial impression of them is negative.  Sadly though, there is no substitute for quality hardware.
    Finally, regardless of source or amp, the HD 25-1 II is on the slower side of “dry.” While it excels with moderately paced music, I do find it a little lack luster with faster pieces such as progressive metal.
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    In terms of music genres though, the HD 25-1 II does an excellent job with them all! Personally, I LOVE it for Electronic Dance Music. The bass is easily one of the BEST I’ve heard from a headphone in this price category and form factor! It can take a nice bit of bass boost without any distortion as well!
    In conclusion, given the price, I love the HD 25-1 II. It offers unmatched durability, and an excellent high quality of sound!  When paired with higher quality digital audio players, amps and properly encoded music, the HD 25-1 II can easily outpace the Solo 2!  
  4. MadeInMachines
    3.5/5,
    "Very Good But Not Perfect"
    Pros - Versatile, Lightweight, Solid Exciting Sound, Great For DJs & Exercise
    Cons - Not Good For Mixing, Not For The Fashion Conscious, Intermittent Audio Issue, Expensive Replacement Parts, Low Volume On Portable Audio Devices
    I've owned 2 pairs of these headphones over the past 10 years so feel I've gotten to know them pretty well. Apart from the cheaper SP version these are the only decent headphones above a budget level that I've really tried.
     
    Looks
     
    I don't think this headphone is for the fashion conscious but they do have a cool look of its own in an industry standard geeky DJ kind of a way.
     
    Durability
     
    This is a mixed bag for me although maybe it is harsh to complain about a pair of headphones that last so long. Overall they are pretty indestructible and I regularly take them to the gym and put them in there and take them everywhere without a second thought. You don't need to treat them nicely for fear they will break. I've never had any problems with the headbands or drivers. However there is a fundamental design flaw with this product that has occurred with both of my units and is well documented by other users. After a while (often many years) one of the cups will develop issues with intermittent sound requiring you to wiggle the connector cable to try to make it work again on a regular basis. The problem is that the spring inside the ear cup which the headphone connector is placed inside become faulty. If it wasn't for this i'm pretty sure they would last forever which I doubt sennheiser would want - they want you to buy another set. I'm sure it could be easily remedied if they slightly altered the design. 
     
     
    Replacement Parts
     
    It's a positive that so much of the headphone is user replaceable. However, although readily available, they are also ridiculously expensive such as the £40 price tag for a new cable.
     
    Comfort
     
    There are definitely not the most comfortable headphones out of the box. They exert a significant amount of pressure on your ears although the do loosen up after a time and become comfortable. That coupled with their lightweight design does mean when they have broken in I do find the comfortable to wear for sustained periods. 
     
    Impedance
     
    These do go very loud when using a dj mixer, a sound card or my macbook pro laptop. When using portable devices such as android phones I find that they are only just loud enough for me so I need to push the gain of my music app to its maximum before distortion to get the level I desire. They are loud enough to use but I would prefer quite a bit more headroom so I would only half recommend them for portable devices. Something designed to be so portable and durable really should have been updated to be more compatible with phones and portable music players.
     
    Sound
     
    I do like the sound and they offer excellent isolation. They sound exciting but a bit harsh in the highs and boomy in the bass. They have almost a dark sound and sound very full and not at all tinny. I wouldn't call the neutral. They are great for djing especially since the kick is emphasised in the low mids but for producing I'm not convinced. When mixing with them I find I tend to end up with mixes that are dark in tone, overblown in the bass and quite dull and lifeless in the highs. I really find it hard to make informed decisions about what is happening in the low end and mix the bass and kick particularly. Maybe high end harshness is part of the problem that leaves me with dull mixes. 
     
    Conclusion
     
    I need to replace these now and I am tempted to get another pair because they are very versatile in that you can use them for djing, sport, sound design, and to a limited extent mixing. They are also durable, lightweight and comfortable after a while of breaking them in. However I can't help want more from them - a pair that are more comfortable from the outset, that I can reliably mix on and that don't develop a fault after so many years with the ear cup connectors. Maybe I should buy these for recreational/dj use and then another pair for mixing as I could end up disappointed trying to improve on them. 
  5. Voyageur
    4.5/5,
    "Classic"
    Pros - Solid audio performance; good imaging and details; tight and fun sound; excellent isolation; durability; user replaceable parts; value for money
    Cons - Soundstage
    Design/durability: They look professional. As for the build quality, these are certainly the most rugged headphones on the market. It is practically indestructible, and if a part comes to break it is possible just to replace the part itself (ear pads, cable, headband, you name it). They can be thrown in a bag and not be worried about. Designed to last a long time, if not a lifetime.
     
    Fit/comfort: Average. Many complain about the clamping force of the HD25, but I find it to be okay after a few months using them. The headband becomes more loose and flexible, although it still has more pressure than on other headphones. Definitely not the most comfortable cans around, though.
     
    Isolation: Among the best headphones when it comes to this aspect. They don't equal IEMs, but still have a superior isolation to most other headphones of its category. Good for outdoor use, even for air travel, unless you fly a very noisy turboprop.
     
    Sound: Excellent, and still a reference despite the years. The sound signature of the HD25 is rather warm (V-shaped), and very revealing from bottom to top frequencies. The bass has a nice texture to it, and sounds fast and powerful. Mids are slightly recessed but they remain neutral, not colored. The treble is bright and slightly aggressive. Also, the HD25 have a good amount of energy in them, an almost dynamite-like punch that can handle any fast track. On the downside, soundstage is quite small although imaging is good. The HD25 provide an enjoyable, dynamic and polyvalent sound with a fair amount of details.
     
    Bottom line: A classic that remains a classic, and a good bang for the buck guaranteed. Mine are 8 years old and still going strong.



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    HD-25 retrofitted with velour pads
  6. kite7
    4.0/5,
    "One of those closed back headphones everyone should at least try"
    Pros - Good all-around headphones with a smooth midrange (minus classical), fun to listen to. Great in trance/dubstep genre.
    Cons - Prominent midbass can get in the way
    My impressions is that these don’t sound significantly different than the cheaper SP version in terms of sound signature. The biggest difference is detail, more extended highs and smoother mid. If you didn’t like the SP version’s general sound you probably won’t like this either.

     

    Comfort:
    I personally don't like on-ear headphones that much because of sweat and heat reasons and this is no exception. These will keep my ears reasonably warm on a rainy day. Takes a little fiddling around to get a good seal. My ear gets warm over half an hour. The clamping force is just right, not loose or vice grip. 
     
    Build:
    Everyone says these are built like a tank and I agree. These headphones feel very solid and hard despite their plastic build. They will be able to withstand a good amount of abuse. I don’t suggest walking around with these in the rain though without an umbrella. Good headband construction. I like the two piece headband so it makes it easier for me to wear the headphone tilted back as the balance is better.
     
    Isolation:
    Not as good as my Westone IEMs but that is expected as these are on ears and not over the ears. If you’re a loud listener these are be ok on the bus or for walking around the city but for a really noisy subway train it might not be good enough as I found myself reaching for my IEMs.
     

    High:

    Sound somewhat rolled off. Cymbal hits decay fast. Snares sound a little thin and distant. As someone whose preferences are in a bright sound I would not say these headphones are bright as the HD558 sounds brighter to me and grados are far brighter than both. I would say in general these headphones don’t have any spike that would sound harsh; occasionally the upper range of female voices can sound a little scratchy and thin. I wouldn't listen to classical with these.

     

    Mids are fairly forward even though it "sits behind" the bass often. Vocals sound quite close.  The mids sound smoother than the HD558 but in comparison it could sound more distant because of the bass presence. Male voices can sound nasally sometimes. I don’t hear any sibilance in voices. Midrange is pleasant to listen to most of the time, no harshness unless the recording was like that. HD25 does a lot good in this area with no glaring issues. 

     

    Bass:

    The midbass hump is prominent on every song and makes sounds sound warm. This can be good or bad depending on your preference. To me, it seems like the bass is the loudest part of all the whole frequency response. The mid bass is the body of the sound for these headphones. I notice it’s a little boomy as well.  These are good headphones for DJs as songs from deadmau5 or music in dubstep and trance genre will shine as the pacing of bass beat is very suited for these headphones. These are the headphones that your pop loving friend might like as well. Music with rhythmic repeating bass beats goes well with the HD25. Bass reaches depths that surprised me for the size of this headphone.

     

    Soundstage:

    Fair for a closed headphone, doesn't sound significantly wider or deeper than my Westone UM2. No artificial wideness or anything like that. I would not use these for gaming as pin pointing can be hard. I never get the feeling the sound is coming from outside my head but quite the opposite; the sound is coming from inside my head and stays there. A closed headphone like the ATH W1000 is much closer sounding to an open headphone than HD25 but that’s another discussion.

     

    Detail:

    Don't expect globs of micro detail but enough for enjoyment. You can hear nuisances but they are more blended in and again, the bass makes it harder to hear these small details. I wouldn't use these for mixing or for critical listening. Separation is reasonably acceptable but plucking of string instruments are not as distinct as grados for example.

     

    These headphones are fun to listen to. If you are very critical of detail these are not for you. This is one of the closed back headphones everyone talks about so I figured I'd try it. These sound somewhat like Westone UM2 with a smoother midrange, more bass and midbass tossed in and less dry sounding. I will stick with my UM2 because I think the bass is a tad much for me but otherwise I can see why these are popular.

  7. Nimbu
    4.5/5,
    "High quality headphones which are build to last."
    Pros - Clear and detailed pure sound, solid build quality, light weight, decent isolation, serve a great purpose as DJ headphones
    Cons - Neutral sound is not for everyone, narrow sound stage, clamping force takes time to soften up.
    I'll make this clear - the sound signature of these headphones will not blow you away. I was expecting a lot from these (after reading the many positive reviews) and when i first listened to them i felt a little underwhelmed.
     
    We've all had that experience where we listen to a piece of music and think...meh it's ok - and then months later you're putting in your top 10 all time favourite list. Well i've had the same experience with these cans. I have grown to love them!
     
     
    Design - They're lightweight, surprisingly portable and have a minimal look and feel. They can be used as DJ headphones due to their tilt cup design (the left headphone can be tilted away from the ear). They are also modular which means you can replace the parts if they ever go wrong.
     
    Comfort - At first these things did hurt my head and gave me a bit of ear ache when listening for long periods. However after about a month of use, the comfort significantly increased. The clamping force became much less intense and i can now wear them for many hours.
     
    Sound Quality - As i've already mentioned, the audio quality will not blow you away. These are a neutral set of cans with an emphasis on detail and clarity. The sound stage is lacking and some tracks can sound a little flat. At first i thought this was a bad thing, but soon i began to appreciate the purity in the sound that these headphones offer. Give them high quality audio and you will hear every bit of detail. What puts the icing on the cake though is the instrument separation - this is what these headphones do best and at very high volumes too (i sometimes DJ in a club where the booth is ridiculously loud and no matter what the volume is - i can always make out the low, mid and high without any bleeding of the sound).
     
    Bass - A little more emphasis here, but they never overwhelming and sound punchy rather than warm
    Mid - Clear and neutral in texture
    High - Clear without sounding bright (not fatiguing on the ears)
     
    These headphones are great for electronic music (house, techno, tech-house) and sound great with older flavours too (trance, progressive etc.)
     
    Value - Not that cheap and even though they're modular in design, the parts are pretty expensive. However these things are build like a tank, so in my opinion they justify the price tag.
     
     
    9/10 - i absolutely love these headphones and recommend them to anyone who is looking for a closed back design.
  8. gabrielnorena
    4.5/5,
    "Durable great portable sound."
    Pros - Detailed, portable, great isolation.
    Cons - Not really confortable for long periods of time.
    I have own the Sennheiser HD 25-1 II for more than 6 years now, and everything is still in perfect condition. I have always love the analytical sound this unit delivers... These have turn to be my personal favorite headphones for tracking live instruments and recording vocals, but I use them to listen to music when traveling, and they are my favorite portable headphones as well.
     
    They are not really that confortable, I find them to be a little uneasy to wear for long periods of time, but they isolate really well and sound great with theire slightly v shaped sound signature. I will recomend this headphones for anyone looking to something portable and with great sound isolation.
  9. dreamwhisper
    4.5/5,
    "Grand-daddy of Quality Closed Headphones"
    Pros - Neutral, detailed, non fatiguing, comfortable velour earpads, cable can be replaced with sennheiser HD650 cable
    Cons - Not much soundstage
    This is my reference for what a portable closed headphone should be.
    It's neutral and sounds good on all genres.
    It's not a giant killer like the DT531, but keep in mind it is closed and portable and has the most durable build quality of anything I've seen.
    Also, it has the cheapest, most cost effective upgrade available for it, the upgrade to an HD650 cable.

    In my opinion it is the second best deal to be had in headphones for a beginner to this hobby, second only to the Beyerdynamic DT531, if you can find it.
    The Beyerdynamic DT531 has better high range sparkle and soundstage, but less midrange realism, depending on the genre you're listening to.
    Anyways, neither are a perfect headphone, and calling either a giant killer is an exaggeration.
    What I mean by that is for someone new to the hobby, the Beyerdynamic DT531 and Senn HD25-1 are just an amazing deal in terms of price: performance ratio.
    Yes they are bested by even mid-fi headphones in the $600 range. But considering the price you can find these for used, I'm not sure I'd recommend someone to 'upgrade'  and spend 500$+ an amp if they're happy with the sound.

    Listening to John Coltrane - A Love Supreme I preferred the HD25-1 to my HD650 balanced system powered by a Beta 22/Lavry DA10.
    The HD25-1 has a seriously sweet midrange for being as neutral as it is. Tonally accurate, yet easily heard in the music, almost 'highlighted'.
    This mysterious midrange quality is it's greatest strength and the most stand-out part of the headphone followed immediately by it's tight, tuneful base.

    Now for the negative part. Over time the closed in soundstage makes them less fun to listen to. It kind of builds on you over time and threatens to distract you completely from the listening experience.
    But if you listen while doing other things, like snowboarding or skateboarding, biking, you don't notice this.

    That's all I really have to say for negatives. For the right person, these are the ultimate portable and rugged, yet amazing sounding headphones.
    If they redesigned the arc assembly so that the headphones folded outward when sitting on your neck, we'd have a new FOTM (flavour of the month) on head-fi.
  10. simonm
    3.0/5,
    "For DJs only"
    Pros - Very good isolation, reasonably dynamic
    Cons - Painful on-ear clamping force, harsh treble peak, closed sound
    These headphones are clearly designed for DJs in dance clubs and I can't recommend them for general or casual use.  They get 3 stars for doing what they're designed to do well enough but could be much better.
     
    They are very isolating as a result of a strong clamping force that crushes my ears to the point of pain after 10-15 minutes.
     
    The sound is very forward and punchy.  Good for techno/dance but lacks refinement, subtlety and space.
     
    They are overly bright and there's a treble peak that causes sibilance and is very unattractive.  Though I didn't use a high quality amp this peak seems to be recognised in frequency response charts and other reviews here that state they can be too bright.  I'm not sure if this is a deliberate decision so that DJs will tend towards making club music darker but it could well be.
     
    If using an iPhone or low-power analogue out you'll need to use a treble reducer or custom EQ to even listen to these without serious fatigue and pain, though bass response without amplification is still decent.
     
    Overall these have a very specific application and purpose and unless you're a DJ that needs high isolation and a "club" sound you should steer clear.